In our last review of General Aviation, we proffered the opinion that the GA insurance market conditions had started to display a deceleration in rate increases across all sub-sectors of this highly diverse business segment and that insurance buyers could expect a more positive outlook as we continue through 2021.
Plane Talking - Article 3

As the third quarter concludes, we see no reason not to continue with that optimism as we approach year-end.

Rates and Premium

As we have mentioned in previous editions, the General Aviation portfolio is so diverse that it is almost impossible to benchmark one client’s potential renewal outcome against another’s. Capacity is key.

Is the client adding high valued helicopters to a fleet? Expect capacity to shrink as the market will steer themselves away from a “lop-sided” risk due to the perceived heightened chance of burning through several years premium with a partial loss on the new equipment.

Does the client have several low valued hulls, low liability limits and a historic clean loss record? Markets may well offer a line and politely remind the broker that they have the ability to increase their participation. Very useful on those risks where some markets may have higher terms than lead as renewal rates on an ‘as before’ basis would actually lead to a reduction on composite terms.

As we see a few more “as before” quotes slip through the net, the collective consciousness of the market will be nudged toward slowing down its required increases further. While we do not expect to see rate reductions (just yet), those brokers with a larger market share should be able to capitalise on this softening underwriting stance, albeit risk profile and loss record will always be the main driving factor to the capacity available.


Our last report mentioned new markets entering the General Aviation arena, but existing markets are also seeking to deploy extra capacity to the right risk, and so although this additional capacity is not available to everyone, it does give some confidence for those clients with the ‘right’ risk profile that there may be competition among the underwriters to participate in their policy placement.


In general, losses can be divided into two categories: those attributable to an individual client, and those that would also be defined as a market impacting loss. To that end, the appetite for increased participations from some markets provides evidence that individual loss records are still a major driving factor in pricing, and to date in 2021 there hasn’t been either a sufficient number of losses or losses of a significant magnitude to create a change in underwriting attitudes in this sector. Such a change may be instant, happening overnight, so it is always advisable to give firm orders early if your account manager is offering lead indications that suit your budgetary requirements.

Severe weather events are one particular area of concern for underwriters and there have been several events that have impacted the general aviation market in 2021 and in recent years, which have led to sizable claims in this segment.

Heightened claims inflation also continues to be a problem for general aviation, and indeed the aviation insurance industry as a whole. There are a number of GA sub-sets, such as rotor-wing and business jet, which present relatively high values and policy limits so claims inflation and rising award settlements, particularly in the US (the largest GA market), remain of particular concern.

Future outlook

Signs of a more positive environment for GA insurance buyers as we enter the final months of 2021.

Absent of high loss levels, or a major event, we anticipate further moderation in technical rates.

Capacity levels and competition have increased and should remain stable.

Variation in pricing levels between risks in different geographies and operational sub-sets will remain.

The individual circumstances and policy specifics of each operator will influence the results.


This note is not intended to give legal or financial advice, and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon for such. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in this area. In preparing this note we have relied on information sourced from third parties and we make no claims as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein. It reflects our understanding as at 29 September 2022, but you will recognise that matters concerning COVID-19 are fast changing across the world. You should not act upon information in this bulletin nor determine not to act, without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist advice. Our advice to our clients is as an insurance broker and is provided subject to specific terms and conditions, the terms of which take precedence over any representations in this document. No third party to whom this is passed can rely on it. We and our officers, employees or agents shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever arising from the recipient’s reliance upon any information we provide herein and exclude liability for the content to fullest extent permitted by law. Should you require advice about your specific insurance arrangements or specific claim circumstances, please get in touch with your usual contact at Gallagher Aerospace.
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